Dreamhost problems for Philly Future

I hope it’s not a case of you get what you pay for (probably is – we shall see), but since migrating to Dreamhost, Philly Future has had some downtime. There was a hardware failure. A few reboots. In any case, far more than what I experienced at its older, more expensive host. We went with Dreamhost for its low cost, combination of features – and most importantly – they were one of only two shared hosting solutions (them and Site5) to promise they could handle a primary requirement – the capability to handle 30 simultaneous database connections. High traffic, occurring during aggregation runs, which occur every hour where we consume up to 250+ RSS feeds across the community, would bring us to that limit at our old host. We had downtime during Live 8 at noon due to this and on a couple of other occasions. When inquiring at new hosts, everyone except those I mentioned, including TextDrive and BlueHost, told me they had similar restrictions.

The bandwidth consumption for a site like Philly Future is expensive. And since it is a grassroots effort – we are bounded by the limited resources we have – which um means – my wallet. I have not aggresively pursued ad revenue.

Any ideas out here?

4 thoughts on “Dreamhost problems for Philly Future

  1. Karl,

    Philly Future is a great community service and a lot of us bloggers take advantage of it. I don’t think it would be out of line at all to ask for a “feed fee” of, what, $10.00? The bookkeeping would be a bear, but if it could be done via paypal or something it might not be so bad. There are a lot of blogs listed. It would raise a little money. Maybe the charge is quarterly or whatever is needed to cover the costs.

    I’d hate to see ads but I’m sure you could generate a lot of revenue out there that way. (This is also where an affiliated not-for-profit foundation could come in handy.)

    It distresses me to learn you have been doing this out of pocket.

  2. Hi Jane, I don’t think that fee would be appropriate. Some kind of community involvement in the costs (not really expensive right now – but would be if we were to go for comprehensive Philadelphia coverage) would be great. But asking feed providers to pay a fee…. well someone will launch tomorrow offering that same service for free – and I wouldn’t blame them.

  3. Karl,

    Someone else starting the same service would eventually run into the same thing, unless they had corporate sponsorship. Unfortunately that can get tricky, as they might frown upon feed postings that were detrimental to the company or its interests. Membership or a foundation of some kind would be less visibly open to conflict of interest. It is dated now but there is a book out on the community Internet prescence set up in Blacksburg VA. I’m not even sure it is still in existence, but I’ve read about their set up a little.

  4. Jane,

    The internet capabilities available to the Blacksburg, VA, area have been heavily subsidized (or at least they were a few years back when my bro-in-law was a student at VA Tech), but I’d be interested in finding out more on this book you mentioned. From what I knew of it, it had a lot to do with some of the professors at the university who’d been instrumental in their previous careers building and designing networks and fibre optic links.

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